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South Dakota Drivers License

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To drive legally in South Dakota, you need to have a license. You will need to pass a licensing exam, vision test and driving test before you can have a license issued to you. If you lose or misplace your license, you should apply for a replacement as soon as possible.

Find a licensing center

To get your license for the first time or to renew it when necessary, you will need to make an appointment to visit an exam station. You can search for the examination station that takes care of whatever you need to do with your vehicle on the South Dakota Department of Public Safety’s website.

Getting a license for the first time

It’s exciting to get your license for the first time. To get your license in South Dakota, you will need to apply for it at a South Dakota Driver Exam location. There are some requirements you will need to meet. These include:

  • Paying $28 in fees for the license
  • Bringing the required documents with you to your appointment
  • Having your photo taken
  • Passing a vision test
  • Completing a license application form
  • Passing a knowledge test with a score of at least 80%
  • Pass a driving test with a score of at least 80%

Renewing your license

To renew your license you will need to apply online or by mail. You can go to a licensing location in person if necessary, but you will need to make an appointment in advance.

Your driver’s license will be valid for five years. It expires 30 days after your 21st birthday if you’re under the age of 21. You are allowed to renew your license up to six months before it expires.

If your license has already expired, then you will need to go in person to renew it. You have up to 30 days after the license’s expiration to renew it without penalties. If you wait too long, you will need to take a vision test, have a new picture taken and complete a knowledge test.

Do you need a REAL ID?

If you want to fly with your license or use it to get into federal buildings, you will need a REAL ID. Starting in Oct. 2020, all travelers needed a REAL ID for federal purposes. The first time you get a REAL ID, you will need to apply for it in person.

Replace a lost or stolen license

If your license has been lost or stolen, you will need to apply for a duplicate or replacement online or by mail. If this is not the first time your license has been lost in the last 10 years, you will need to go to the local Driver’s Licensing location.

To get a replacement, you will have to have proof of your identity. You should provide your Social Security number and at least two documents that prove that you live at your address.

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Last Verified:
Jun 14, 2022